Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Propagating (Stealing) Plants

    This post is for those of you  who are too cheap or poor to buy your own plants. Or maybe you just want the thrill of stealing from others and profiting from your ventures. Or maybe you just have fun trying new things and propagating plants is something you have never done. Whatever the case, it is still obvious that many nurseries and other stores that sell plants can label them with exorbitant prices when the amount of effort it takes to propagate your own is relatively low!
       To get started propagating: You need a clipping large enough to have a few leaf junctions (where the leaves meet the stem). These junctions are usually where the roots will sprout from. About 2-3 inches of a plant is typically enough. To develop the roots just place the part of the plant you want to grow roots in a glass of water. Leave the clipping in a sunny window for about 2-3 weeks. You should be able to plant your clipping successfully once the roots are about an inch or two long. Some plants take longer than others to sprout roots, but if there is no growth after 2-3 weeks, odds are that the plant can not be propagated in this manner. Technically speaking, all plants can be propagated, it's just that some are more fragile than others and require more care and encouragement (hormone exposure). This hack-n-slash method is best for robust and hardy plants.

Here is my own propagation creation:

A sweet potato vine and a coleus

Here you can see the roots sprouting from where the leaves meet the stem. 

My creation:

 I saw this container at Krogers the other day for $20. All of these plants (except the grasses) can be propagated and are fast growers. It contains coleus, verbena and black sweet potato vine.

Here is a list of common plants that can be propagated this way:

  • Chlorophytum comosum, often called the spider plant (the hanging baby plants can be propagated) 
  • marigolds 
  • verbena 
  • all types of mint 
  • wandering jew 
  • purple velvet plant 
  • sweet potato vines (all types) 
  • creeping thyme 
  • most types of ground cover/vines (if you can see little roots growing budding from leaf junctions it can be propagated)

I am sure there are many more plants that can be cultivated in this manner! I have just included a short list to get you started. I will do my best to update as I find more propagatable varieties. Do you know of any plants that can be propagated this way? Please Comment!